January 1, 2023
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
1-6, 7-6, 10-6
Team Bulgaria - 3
Team Belgium - 2
THE MODERATOR: A tough tie today, but can you list some of the positives out of yesterday and today's matches, moving ahead, looking ahead tomorrow.
CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: Yeah, definitely I think that's the main key, to stay positive now, even though we had a tough loss in the deciding doubles. I think there's a lot of positives to take out of the singles from David yesterday and from Elise today. I think Elise turned the match around pretty good in the third set, and she showed that she's a good fighter and a team player.
David had a pretty decent match, I would say, yesterday as the first match of the year.
So I think it's a lot of positives to take into next tie, but of course it's a pity from today but we have to look forward.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. David, for yourself, how do you come back from the disappointment of the last two days to then play someone like Stefanos? It's not like a Grand Slam where you sort of have a bit of time between your next match?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, we try to keep the positives of my first single of the year. Like Kirsten said, it was a good match, a decent match. Then today we played singles, so I have more rhythm on the center court, more points, more breakpoints to save and everything. I'm more, I would say, comfortable on the court.
It's good, I have the perfect preparation for my match tomorrow against Stefanos. It will be another tough one, but I'm feeling much better day after day, and hopefully it will be a very good one for me tomorrow.
Q. I was looking at it, you guys played a lot in the space of about three years, then haven't played since 2019. Does that bode well for either of you? How do you sort of prepare for that?
DAVID GOFFIN: Of course I remember all of the matches we played against each other. I know a little bit the way he's playing. I know he improved a lot since I played against him the last time. He's a top-5 player. He's a tough player to play. He's a fighter. He doesn't give point. He's very aggressive. He's playing well.
He's one of the top players in the world, so it's not going to be easy. But like I said, I'm playing better day after day, and tomorrow we will see. I will give everything, for sure, like I did the first matches today. We see how it goes.
Q. Elise, you played really well today. Congratulations. How tough is it to play someone who you've never played before who is a little bit more unknown than some of the other opponents?
ELISE MERTENS: Yeah, it was a last-minute change. I didn't really know her, her game style, everything, so I try to focus on myself. Of course the first match is always tricky, starting the new year. Starting the new year with a win is pretty nice, and to get that point for Belgium.
So I think, like Kirsten said, the third set was much better, a lot of positives. She gave me a great pep talk. That definitely helped. We lost this one but it's not over yet. We're still here to fight and to get Belgium further.
Q. Your next opponent is likely Maria Sakkari. How do you go into that confident and how does that sort of matchup for you?
ELISE MERTENS: I think for me, because I have a day in between, it might help a little bit. Yeah, I know her pretty well. She's doing a great job last year.
I think it will be a good match. I think I can learn a lot from that match going into the other tournaments too. Of course I will give myself 100%. We will see about the level, how it goes and everything. We've got nothing to lose. We're here to have fun but also to win of course and to give everything we have.
Q. Obviously despite the disappointing doubles result, the first set was pretty impressive. You have played Hopman Cup together before, I believe. Do you feel like your games gelled quickly again at the start of the doubles?
ELISE MERTENS: Yeah, I think it was a pretty good doubles match. We were playing really well in the second set. They kind of played better in the second and third, so all credit to them too. We kind of felt comfortable playing with each other, on my side definitely.
So, I mean, it's very much fun, because we don't really play mixed. Yeah, very different format, but very nice.
Q. Does one of you seem to take the lead on court? Obviously you have quite a strong doubles record, Elise.
DAVID GOFFIN: Of course she took the lead. I just had to follow (smiling). I'm playing with a Grand Slam champion. I just have to follow and try to do my best.
No, but we had fun, of course. It's always fun. It was the same in the Hopman Cup, and it was a tough one. You know, you have to find a way with combination and what we can do to help each other, and sometimes it's a win and like today it was not.
But we had fun, and, you know, we had match point, few points there, and maybe would have won the tie. But it's life.
Q. Kirsten, as a new role as a captain, how did it feel? You were active, from what we could see, coaching the players. Do you see yourself having a future in a role like this?
CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: Yeah, maybe, why not? I enjoy doing what I did for the players all week. I'm just trying to give myself 100%, even if it's on the bench, on the court, it doesn't matter.
I think it's also what the player wants. If they want you to be active on the bench or not, you have to listen to the player, what you have to do as a captain.
I'm just trying to give advice where I can, and try to help them as much as possible. I like doing it 100%, really. It's a nice honor for me to be here as a captain, and especially next to these two stars from Belgium. It's a real honor and I'm very glad I'm able to do this, yeah.
Q. Grigor said it was very hard as a player to be watching another game and not being able to play yourself and be involved in that way. Do you recognize that experience?
CAPTAIN FLIPKENS: Yeah, I mean, I've been doing a few coaches weeks already with some players. I think next to the court it's always different than when you're on the court. Yeah, even though we are next to the court, it's still satisfying, like, you know, giving Elise a pep talk and try to turn around the match. It gives you a lot of satisfaction as well as a captain or as a coach next to the court.
So it's different, but still, it's nice to be able to change a few things here and there and to be able to try and turn the match around.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports